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#ServePeople: Bernard Lim

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RM150 can buy a lot of things- a bottle of wine, a few types of coffee, a grand birthday cake, a dimsum breakfast…. Or enough food for 50 hungry people, with some leftover.

With this in mind, my wife and I started volunteering in the street ministry 12 years ago, bringing food to the drop-in centre in PJ Old Town. There are two drop in-centres, and both provide a safe and comfortable place for street people to gather and share life, while experiencing peace, joy, love and hope again.

Besides that, the poor and homeless can find shelter, a hot meal and a friend to talk to. The centres also provide counselling, medical and legal services, and also gives referrals for those who need employment and rehabilitation. This is a chance for them to experience the love of Christ in a genuine way.

How it all started was with our founding senior pastor’s call to bless the community, especially the destitute street people. At the time, my wife and I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to volunteer. With the blessing of my then cell leader and his wife, the both of us brought food to the PJ Old Town Fellowship (PJOTF) in April 2005.

When we arrived at the bustling centre, we were welcomed by the Head of Street Ministry, brother Steve Yew and his assistants. There, we befriended many clients, or street friends, who would drop by for food, shelter and medical treatment. They were usually poor families from the vicinity- some were widows with children, others were abandoned parents, drug addicts, ex-convicts and the homeless. We connected with them, ate with them and prayed with them.

We made it a point to bring along our children, Camillia & Benjamin, to be exposured to the ministry from an early age. Subsequently, this personal initiative of ours was adopted by my CG as a group initiative.

Today, a dozen years have passed and our cell members still continue to bless the PJOTF with food and friendship with the same passion. It was indeed a joy to see not just how our offerings of food and time could touch so many lives, but also how many of them started coming to the Lord over the years. Some of their children who are in the 20s now are serving at the PJOTF.

Even though this ministry was established 14 years ago, it still is one of the more underserved ministries. I definitely believe that more can be done to meet the needs of the community, to  touch more hearts and transform more lives, whether it’s on an individual basis or with one’s whole cell group.

At only RM150 for each visit, it is very affordable to contribute to the ministry. As a cell group initiative, it is also a great bonding opportunity as the whole group would have to buy and cook the food together, and bring it to the centre to bless the community. Each experience is a discipleship process on its own. I would encourage anyone to serve in the street ministry, be it cooking food, providing healthcare and tuition, giving legal advice or just being there.

The scripture in Matthew 25:40 has always motivated me to serve in the street ministry. ‘The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’ Let’s remember the instruction of the Lord to love the least, the last and the lost. Step out and step up to bless the community and by doing so, abiding the call of the church to love God, serve people and making disciples towards Christlikeness.

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